The turning point in last night's game was when Pascal Dupuis got cross-checked from behind and fell forward the instant Kris Letang was shooting the puck on goal. Dupuis was struck in a bad place- neck or upper back and went down. It took a stretcher to get Dupuis off the ice, after he suffered some numbness in his arm as a result of being struck by a frozen piece of rubber that Sportsnet tracked as going near 75 miles per hour.
It was a scary situation that didn't look too good so surely Dupuis would be out for a while, right? Fast forward to this morning.
Photo proof that Pascal Dupuis is here and is skating on @CONSOLEnergyCtr ice. pic.twitter.com/NDfeVVvqsT— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 17, 2014
Dupuis took to the ice for 20 minutes in that track suit, shot some pucks, skated around and even re-enacted the fall that he took. He left before the team's regular practice, but just to see him out there on the ice was a great thing.
The good news didn't stop there:
#Pens Coach Johnston on Dupuis: Looked fine this morning. Cleared by medical staff. Just doing precautionary tests on the ice.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 17, 2014
Johnston also said he wouldn't "know until tomorrow morning," if Dupuis would play or not against the New York Islanders and that extra forward Andrew Ebbett would replace Dupuis in the lineup if he couldn't play.
For practice, Dupuis' spot on the 2nd line with Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter was taken by Blake Comeau. The third line was Ebbett centering Nick Spaling and Steve Downie, with the 4th line being Zach Sill, Craig Adams and Marcel Goc. The first line (Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist) remained unchanged.
All in all, a great relief for Penguins fans and teammates who were worried just about Dupuis' health last night as he lie motionless on the ice. To see him back in good spirits and shooting the puck while skating around is a great thing- the worst case scenario of a lengthy injury has seemingly been avoided. That's happy news, no doubt about it.